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Seven area school districts seeking levies

WILLMAR -- Voters will go to the polls in seven area school districts Tuesday to vote on local levies.

Voters who will not be able to go to the polls on Tuesday may still vote absentee. Absentee voting is available at school districts offices until the close of business today.

The Willmar, Montevideo, BOLD, Dawson-Boyd, Redwood Valley and Benson school districts are seeking levies to pay for school operations. New London-Spicer is seeking a levy to make technology purchases to improve technology capabilities in the district.

About one-third of the districts in the state will be asking their local voters to help pay school expenses. State funding has been stagnant for a decade or more, and inflation has far outstripped any increases in school funding.

In addition, the state routinely withholds state aid payments until the following fiscal year, leaving many districts to borrow money to pay their ongoing expenses.

Willmar is asking for a renewal of a $498.49-per-pupil levy that is expiring. Voting will be at the Willmar Education and Arts Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

New London-Spicer wants a three-year levy to raise $1.5 million for technology improvements in the district. Voting will be in the high school gymnasium in New London from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Montevideo has two questions. One will revoke an existing $505-per-pupil levy and replace it with a $700 levy. The second asks for an additional $200 per pupil. Voting will be at the National Guard Armory in Montevideo. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Redwood Valley is asking to renew a $500-per-pupil levy that is due to expire. A second question seeks another $400 per pupil. Voting will be at the Redwood Valley High School. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Dawson-Boyd is seeking a $990-per-pupil levy. It would be used to replace a $454.23-per-pupil levy that is expiring this year and a $302.32 levy that expires in three years. Voting will be at the Dawson city building and the Boyd municipal building. Polls will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Benson wants to replace an expiring levy of $543 per pupil with a $650 levy with an inflation clause. Voting will be at the Benson Armory. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

BOLD voters will be asked to renew an existing $700-per-pupil levy. Voting will be at the Bird Island City Hall, Olivia Public Library and Lake Lillian City Center. Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340